LOCKPORT – When people donate food to food pantries, usually it’s canned food that kids all too often aren’t much interested in eating.
That’s why Peter P. Robinson, a court officer in Niagara County, founded the Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive in 2010.
The third annual drive opened Thursday and continues through Dec. 6, with donation bins for unopened jars of peanut butter, jelly and marshmallow Fluff being set up all over Buffalo Niagara.
The rules are simple.
“We don’t take cash. We just take peanut butter, jelly and Fluff,” Robinson said.
The event started in Lockport but grew rapidly last year, when 9,056 jars of peanut butter, jelly and Fluff were collected from 96 donation bins.
Actually, more than 9,056 jars came in last year, because donations kept coming even after the official closing date.
“Last year, we noticed the need wasn’t just around Christmas time, but in the summertime, when the kids are out of school,” Robinson said.
But the late donations meant Robinson and his friends had peanut butter, jelly and Fluff in storage in Lockport and Buffalo, and they were able to help out with supplies this summer.
Some of his friends from the Lockport-area law enforcement community – Tina Sheley, Michael Barlass and Cheryl Maertin-Yurek – have been designated as regional directors for this year’s campaign.
Updates on where the bins may be found are available on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Facebook page. Businesses willing to host a bin, or people who want to donate but can’t find a bin, may call Robinson at 510-7108; Sheley and Barlass at 438-8247; or Maertin-Yurek at 799-4013.